U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command: Comparison of Decontamination Technologies for Biological Agent on Selected Commercial Surface Materials   [open pdf - 183KB]

The BW-IRP is a multi-year program designed to identify, evaluate, and demonstrate the best practical approaches to improve BW domestic preparedness. Through the use of multiagency workshops on bioterrorism response the BW-IRP developed a response template that could function as a model for cities to use when developing their own bio terrorism response plan. Along with the medical response template, 28 gaps in biological warfare response were identified. One response gap identified was how do you decontaminate a public building after a bio terrorism attack. This test and associated report address the gap of how to decontaminate a building that has been contaminated with a biological agent. This study evaluates available technologies (mostly research-scale) on the basis of to what level these technologies reduce the spore contamination on panels of different materials, which represent office environments. The testing platform consisted of six vertical surfaces, each made of a different material which could be commonly found in a typical civilian office environment. These test surfaces were uniformly contaminated with the bacterial agent simulant, bacillus globigii, BG and then sampled to determine the concentration level of the contamination at time zero (t=0). The test participants decontaminated the panels using their technology and procedure. The following day, the test panels were sampled again by swabbing to check for surviving BG spores. Performing best in the overall rankings were University of Michigan (U.Mich.), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLNL). The data suggest that the material surfaces most receptive to decontamination of agent simulant BG are Painted Metal, Painted Wallboard and Panel Fabric. The decontamination technologies were less effective on the porous surfaces. No technology was able to fully-decontaminate all surfaces in this test.

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